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Market Analysis and Application Prospect of Sapphire
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Market Analysis and Application Prospect of Sapphire

Market Analysis and Application Prospect of Sapphire

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  1. Introduction of Sapphire
  Sapphire is a kind of alumina (α-Al2O3) single crystal, also called corundum. As a kind of important technical crystal, the sapphire has been widely applied to many fields of science and technology, national defense and civilian industries. It has excellent optical properties, mechanical properties and chemical stability, high strength, high hardness and resistance to erosion and can work at the high temperature close to 2,000℃. Moreover, the sapphire crystal has a unique lattice structure, excellent mechanical properties and good thermal properties.
  2. Main Purpose of Sapphire Crystal
  The sapphire crystal is widely used as a window material for infrared military equipment, satellite space technology and high-strength laser and has become the most ideal substrate material for semiconductor GaN/Al2O3 LEDs, large-scale integrated circuit SOI and SOS, superconductive nano structure films, etc.
  If it is applied to the semiconductor lighting industry, such as LED, the luminous efficiency of the LED can be improved by nearly 10 times, the life of the LED is more than 20 times than that of traditional lamps, and the advantages of greenness, environmental protection is also obtained. Presently, there are only two kinds of substrates which can be commercialized, namely sapphire substrate and silicon carbide substrate; however, approximately 80% of LED enterprises use sapphire substrate, and the main reason is that the silicon carbide is so expensive.
  The sapphire can be applied to the products of civil aerospace, military industry, etc., such as radome window, radome, optoelectronic window, guard plate, top and anti-friction bearing. In addition, it can be specially applied to military optoelectronic equipment such as optoelectronic pod, optoelectronic tracker, infrared warning system and submarine optoelectronic mast.
  The sapphire crystal can also be applied to the products of the civil field, such as scanning window of barcode scanner, lens of never-worn Rado watch, fiber guide in textile industry, external protection mirror of camera and anti-friction bearing.
  3. LED Industrial Policy of Various Countries
  LED is a new-generation light source and well known as the high-tech field with the best development prospect in 21st century. At present, key nations and regions in the world have come up with their own LED technology and industrial development plans.
  Japan drawn “21st Century Optical Plan” in 1998; Europe has implemented “Rainbow Plan” since July 2000, based on that, Europe started “Solid State Lighting Research Project” in July 2004 and established “EU Optoelectronic Industry League”; South Korea drawn “Gallium Nitride Semiconductor Development Plan” in 2000 and established Optical Industry Promotion Association; USA started “Next Generation Lighting Initiative (NGLI)” in 2001 and “National Semiconductor Lighting Research Plan” which was drawn in 2002 listed in Energy Bill; and China started “National Semiconductor Lighting Plan” on June 17, 2003, Ministry of Science and Technology of China started Semiconductor Lighting Project “863” Plan of “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” in October 2006, which brought more support to semiconductor lighting industry.
  4. Main Material and Production Method of Sapphire Crystal
  The main material of the sapphire crystal is 5N high-purity alumina. The purity of alumina is a key factor, according to the crystal growing principle, the material with the purity of 5N and 4N6 has less impurities naturally, and dislocation density, color development, etc. are lowered to a certain extent.
  5. Global Lighting Policy
  Due to the pushing of LED lighting policies of various countries, incandescent lamps are being eliminated. The law of prohibiting incandescent lamps has enforced globally.
  2011: Took effect in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Philippines;
  2012: Took effect in UK, Finland and Holland;
  2013: Will Take effect in Japan and Canada;
  2014: Will Take effect in USA
  2017: Will Take effect in China
  6. Application of Sapphire to Semiconductor Lighting Industry
  Backlight of laptop computers, liquid crystal televisions, lighting and displayers of mobile phones
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